Dark Star (1974)

Day: January 31st, Movie: 33

It is January 31, 2023, and that means today is the final day of the first ever Genre-ary DailyView. Thirty-two science fiction films were watched over thirty days leading to the final film, John Carpenter’s Dark Star.

Dark Star was a science fiction/comedy that was John Carpenter’s directorial debut. The movie began as a USC student film that was developed into a feature film, receiving a limited theatrical release.

The film looked in on a crew of the starship Dark Star which had been out on a twenty year mission to blow up unstable planets that might threaten future plans. Dark Star had begun to break down and malfunction, leading to more troubles.

There are some funny moments in Dark Star. The talking bombs are a real hoot. There are several intriguing situations that happen during the plot. I really enjoyed the last half of the movie more than I did the beginning.

It definitely feels like a student production with the special effects (which were okay for 1974) and the list of unknown actors. They did use technology to create the jump to hyperspace that they would use a few years later in Star Wars.

As I said, the second half of the movie was more entertaining for me, with some of the visuals making me laugh out loud. I was not involved with the characters, but I loved the bomb. A talking, spiritually debating bomb is funnier than hell.

You can see how John Carpenter developed into a director who directed and produced some of the best science fiction films of all time. You can see it begin in Dark Star.

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